Peter Brötzmann

Peter Brötzmann came to prominence in the European jazz scene of the 1960s, establishing himself by the end of the decade as the dominant voice of the saxophone in the avant-garde spheres. In the context of the political divides of postwar Europe, Brötzmann powerful, incendiary voice on his instrument resonated deeply. His self-developed technique maximizes every possibility for personal inflection on his instruments, going well past the usual limits of commonly accepted styles. In terms of volume, range, breadth of tone, vibrato, and intensity, he creates music that obliterates the rules of genre and puts the listener in new realms of discovery, vulnerability, and feeling. Amazingly, he has been able to pair this approach with very different types of musicians, and found musical homes with the more cerebral British avant-garde, the “New Dutch Swing” of the Instant Composers Pool, the roots-oriented free jazz of New York, the younger musicians of the current Chicago scene, and various noise/rock groups. Brötzmann extensive discography shows a boundary-less collaborative spirit, and his example has ignited and energized the geographic and stylistic scenes in which he has involved himself. He has appeared on well over two hundred recordings, & performed & recorded with nearly every major figure in free jazz and improvised music of the last fifty years, including Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, William Parker, Hamid Drake, Anthony Braxton, Joe McPhee, Sonny Sharrock, Han Bennink, Keiji Haino, and Ginger Baker. As a trained and recognized visual artist Brötzmann does much of his own album artwork & has a long history of producing his own records, pre-dating the do-it-yourself aesthetic of punk rock and current trends of self-production by decades. Former POTUS Bill Clinton called Brötzmann “one of the greatest alive.” (2001 Oxford American Music Issue).

Born is Boston, Massachusetts in 1953, Donald Robinson first studied classical percussion at the New England Conservatory. In the early 1970's he served his musical apprenticeship in the jazz world of Paris, studying with Kenny Clarke and playing with Alan Silva, Anthony Braxton, Oliver Lake and Bobby Few among many others. His longest musical association, dating from the 1970's, was with legendary Bay Area tenor saxophonist Glenn Spearman, an association which continued through various configurations and many recordings until the saxophonist's death in 1998. Described as a 'percussive dervish' (Coda), Robinson is a technical master of the drums & a long-time stalwart of the Bay Area avant-garde jazz scene, having played and recorded with Marco Eneidi, Eddie Gale, Larry Ochs, Cecil Taylor, John Tchicai, and the celebrated ‘spiritual jazz’ group The Pyramids. He is currently playing in many configurations with a broad range of musicians throughout the world.

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